The Silk Road, a travelling exhibition of the Universitat de València, at the Botànic
- Office of the Vice-Principal Sustainability, Cooperation and Healthy Life
- February 19th, 2021
From Friday 19th February to 28th March those interested can visit this exhibition at the Jardí Botánic of the Universitat de València. The exhibition "Valencian participation in the Silk Road. History, landscape and heritage" shows the enormous influence that silk had on Valencian history and culture between the 15th and 19th centuries.
The 22 panels making up this exhibition, whose contents have been prepared by professors Ricardo Franch (curator), Germán Navarro and Daniel Muñoz, constitute an excellent compendium with a transversal focus, which shows the importance of the production, transformation and trade of silk for Valencia and its territorial environment during the 15th and 19th century. This exhibition, produced by the Vice-principal for Territorial Projection and Society of the Universitat de València, with the collaboration of Caixa Popular and Turisme Comunitat Valenciana, aims to contribute to the knowledge of an episode of our history linked to the Valencian territory.
Between the 15th and 19th centuries, silk was of enormous importance to the Valencians. Mulberry cultivation spread to the most fertile irrigated lands. From the mid-16th century, the Kingdom of Valencia displaced Granada as the main silk fibre producing area in the peninsula, maintaining this hegemony until the mid-19th century. For its part, the "velluters" guild, created in 1479, quickly became the most important trade in the city of Valencia. However, after the decline of Toledo at the end of the 17th century, Valencia also held the hegemony in the production of silk fabrics in 18th century Spain. Nevertheless, the crisis experienced by the sector in the 19th century led to the deterioration of the heritage and the oblivion of the testimonies of this silk-making past.
The Principal of the Universitat de València, Mª Vicenta Mestre, has expressed the opportunity of this exhibition, since its itinerancy through the Valencian cities and towns will allow to spread the keys of the silk culture in a singular section of the history of the Valencian people.
"This exhibition aims to contribute to the recovery of the collective memory of an activity that has had such an influence on our history," said the curator of the exhibition and professor at the Universitat de València, Ricardo Franch.
For his part, the Vice-principal for Territorial Projection and Society, Jorge Hermosilla, commented that "the Universitat de València, sensitive to the history of the Valencian people and committed to its territorial environment, has promoted and organised this exhibition, which is justified by the significance that the city of Valencia acquired in the trade routes around the western Mediterranean from the 15th century onwards".